Saturday, May 5, 2018

Habits of the Rich

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2018 - 12:00am
Johnny is in the midst of a long dry spell in Las Vegas. Eventually he gambles away all his money and has to borrow a quarter from another gambler just to use the men’s room. He finds a stall that happens to be open and pockets the quarter.
Believing that his luck has finally changed, he puts the quarter in a slot machine and hits the jackpot. He takes his winnings and goes to the blackjack table and turns his modest winnings into million dollars.
Wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, Johnny goes on the lecture circuit, where he tells his incredible story. He tells his audiences that he will always be eternally grateful to his benefactor, and if he ever finds the man he will share his fortune with him. After months of speaking, a man in the audience jumps up and says, “I’m that man. I was the one who gave you the quarter.”
“Yes, I remember you well, but you aren’t the one I’m looking for. I mean the guy who left the door open!”
Times are different now. There are so many young people out there giving talks and seminars, selling stuff and promising heaven and earth that by listening to them, buying their products and reading their books people will become wealthy. And there are many who would buy into it to their regret later.
As the saying goes: “There’s a sucker born every minute;” a phrase closely associated with P.T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid-19th century, although there is no evidence he in fact said it, the mere fact that these con-artists are still around today may give credence to the fact that people are careless and reckless and their relentless pursuit of instant riches and shortcut to success will always provide a market for these cons. There is however some amount of data and research that would provide safe and sound ideas on how to earn more money.
The book: “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals” written by Tom Corley spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 wealthy people and 128 people living in poverty. I want to share some of his research discoveries:

• 70 percent of the wealthy eat less than 300 junk-food calories per day;
• 97 percent of poor people eat more than 300 junk-food calories per day.
• 23 percent of the wealthy gamble; 52 percent of poor people gamble.
• 76 percent of the wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week; 23 percent of the poor do this.
• 63 percent of the wealthy listen to audio books during the commute to work vs. five percent of poor people.
• 81 percent of the wealthy maintain to-do lists vs. 19 percent of the poor.
• 63 percent of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. three percent of the poor.
• 80 percent of the wealthy make “happy birthday” calls vs. 11 percent of the poor.
• 67 percent of the wealthy write down their goals vs. 17 percent of the poor.
• 88 percent of the wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. two percent of the poor.
• Six percent of the wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69 percent of the poor.
• 67 percent of the wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23 percent of the poor.
• Six percent of the wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78 percent of the poor.
• 44 percent of the wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. three percent of the poor.
• 74 percent of the wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. one percent of the poor.
84 percent of the wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. four percent of the poor.
• 76 percent of wealthy believe that bad habits create detrimental luck vs. nine percent of the poor.
• 86 percent of the wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. five percent of the poor.
• 86 percent of the wealthy love to read vs. 26 percent of the poor.
Of course, this is subject to challenge considering the fact that the copyright year of this book was some eight years ago. However, notice the disparity between the rich and the poor in their habits and lifestyles? The wealthy lives a regimented lifestyle and would pursue discipline first before pleasure. The formula works all the time.
There is no shortcut to success. If only people will do due diligence and check the track records of authors, speakers and companies offering products, advices or tips on how to be rich in a quick way. Perhaps it will work for them but it certainly will not work for you.
Maybe the list would help and then again maybe others would not believe it and insist on a quicker way to attain riches and wealth. It’s a choice people have to make. But the funny thing is this. When I ask those who are rich and wealthy, they tend to believe the list… and I know why.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Timeless Tips

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. 
  • Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants
  • Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy. 
  • Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer. 
  • Play more games.
  • Read more books than you did in 2008.
  • Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  • Sleep for 7 hours.
  • Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile. 
  • Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 
  • Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  • Don't over do. Keep your limits.
  • Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 
  • Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
  • Dream more while you are awake.
  • Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 
  • Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
  • Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others. 
  • Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present. 
  • No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  • Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  • Smile and laugh more.
  • You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 
  • Call your family often.
  • Each day give something good to others.
  • Forgive everyone for everything.
  • Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6. 
  • Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  • What other people think of you is none of your business. 
  • Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

  • Do the right thing!
  • Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  • GOD heals everything.
  • However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  • No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 
  • The best is yet to come.
  • When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it. 
  • Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Quote of the day

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
—Melody Beattie

Saturday, November 11, 2017

For Freelancers reference



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Saturday, April 11, 2015

The hunger and thirst for justice

THERE is a true and very important saying that we all need to listen to and learn from: “There is no peace when there is no justice.” The truth of this is seen and felt by thousands of people around the world and people never forget the injustices that they have suffered. Hurt and pain are the realities that we humans carry with us through out our lives. Much of it happens in families and in school and children are scared for life. They suffer much more when they are victims of sexual and physical abuse and torture.
Rejection, exclusion, abuse and hurt feelings of childhood shape and mold the characters of every person. Some cope with it and survive and live with it. Others are crippled emotionally and psychologically and many suffer depression and some take their own lives. Other children are even murdered on live videos to please international pedophiles. Are we going to continue allowing this?
Abused children carry the memories into late adult life because as children they are unable to challenge and confront their abusers to demand justice. The culture of ignoring the individual personality and rights of children is part of this injustice. The children can grow up with a grudge, a desire for justice, anger at being denied it and turn to revenge seeking and even violence. When whole communities are degraded, oppressed and exploited they become angry and seek redress through demonstrations, riots and protest. This leads to inevitable confrontation and violence. Others seek justice in the courts but their complaints are frequently dismissed.
The individual child can become an angry violent person when abused and denied justice. Perhaps that’s why thousands of young people are flooding to Syria to become fighters and join the ISIS. Perhaps they see it as a way to take bloody revenge on the world they have come to hate.
Prior to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, there were few laws to fully protect the rights of children or treat them as individual persons in their own right. The high status given to a child in the Gospel values were generally ignored for 2000 years. Since the approval of Convention all member states had to draft their laws based on the convention document.
But are those laws really and wholeheartedly implemented and beneficial to children? In the Philippines, experience shows that mostly they are not. Police, prosecutors, judges are more favorable to the abusers than to the children. More accused child abusers and rapists are allowed to go free than are convicted.
The reasons are many: corruption, bribery, favoritism, and no belief in the law, the incompetence of police, prosecutors, and judges add to the failure.
For all this there are good honest hardworking judges for the most part that take pride in doing justice. The good judges restore people’s trust and respect in the judicial process but they are all too few.
Children cannot and should not be made to wait years for justice. Justice based on clear evidence is essential for healing. Children get witness fatigue, despair of getting justice, when there are many postponements and manipulations and cheating to contend with.
Lawyers working for the accused get paid per hearing plus a retainer fee. It’s in their interest to prolong the case, earn more money and hope to win by wearing down the will of the victim so she will give up and the rapist can get away with the crimes.
Then same impotent child protection laws are allegedly ignored. The telecommunications companies are allegedly not complying with the anti-child pornography law of 2009. They have made no statement of compliance with the law. This law, RA 9775, explicitly orders the Internet Server Providers (ISP’s) to install software to block the transmission of child porn images and cyber-sex where children are forced to do sexual acts live on camera sent through the Internet to paying customers in other cities or countries. Criminal pedophiles pay to watch the children being abused and raped. Some order that they be tortured and killed.
The National Telecommunication Commission officials are apparently looking the other way. Perhaps even looking at the child pornography, why else don’t they implement the law? The owners and shareholders of the biggest company PLDT can be found on the Internet. They are allegedly technically likewise violators of the law like most of the top 100 child pornographers who are Filipinos and US Nationals.
Victims of child pornography should file charges against the telecommunication companies and individual stockholders that violate the law. If it is being obeyed the victims and their families would not be suffering.
Now we see the likely result of this connivance and collusion between big business and government officials. Horrific crimes against children are being done and continue daily over the Internet. The filters have not been deployed or installed as the law requires. The Internet Watch Foundation can prove that. Child and adult pornography is available to children daily on their pads and cell phones.
The dirty work of Australian Peter Scully and his local helpers was possible because of uncontrolled Internet access. They made videos of a screaming 18 month old child being tortured and murdered. You need to be of strong heart if you watch this.
The horrific videos were sold in the USA and EU countries. Is this a civilized country? Is Christianity dead? Is the Philippines a morally failed state? Why can this happen openly and uncontrolled? The answer is insatiable greed and the lust for money, pleasure and power. The authorities have vital questions to answer and all of us must challenge politicians and corporations everywhere and act to end such crimes and do justice for the children.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The love that can change the world

Holy Week 2015. What brought about the shameful torture, humiliation and excruciating execution, as a criminal on a Roman cross is what we need to ask and answer everyday not just during Holy Week.
Hundreds of thousands of true Christians around the world suffer persecution, torture and death these days because they are disciples of Jesus of Nazareth and put into practice his spiritual values that give meaning to life itself.
Why is there such opposition to a message, a way of life that espouses love of the outcast, freedom, human rights and dignity, equality and the defense of children and a better life for the poor and the oppressed people of this world?
The Man who was called by some a great prophet who had come back to life, a wonder worker, a spiritual teacher, a man of compassion, a peace-maker, a defender of children and women and a social revolutionary brought these values into the world by his simplicity of life and his living out of these values.
He was welcomed into the capital Jerusalem one sunny April morning two thousand years ago by adoring crowds waving palm branches who were inspired by his teaching, healing and prophetic voice for the poor and the downtrodden. He stood with the marginalized outcasts and victims of social injustice. He was a hero and inspirational spiritual leader that day and everyday since.
The man from Nazareth was far ahead of his time, in fact ahead of all time. He said simply that he was a Son of Man. One who was just like everyone else, but ready to serve and help anyone in need. He was a man without power and influence, had no servants or slaves and one who even washed the feet of his students and followers as an example for us all. The people said he was a Son of God and a descendent of the great king David.
Perhaps the combination of these titles, their political overtones and the widespread belief that he would take political power in Jerusalem fueled the fears of the ruling powers that there would be a popular uprising to declare Jesus King of the Jews. That title was mockingly nailed to his cross, the instrument of execution.
When his disciples aired these sentiments and asked for big jobs in his supposed new Kingdom of God he rejected their suppositions and told them that he was amazed that he was with them a long time and still they didn’t understand his mission. It was not a political movement he wanted but a moral revolution of the heart whereby goodness and love for everyone and by everyone would dominate.
In the new social relationship universal goodness, equality and justice would pervade the community and there would be an end to violence, rejection and exclusion.
A most profound vision and an ideal world that may never be, yet one that is worth striving for in our own faith communities. The ideals are for everyone, disciples or not, Christian or not.
We all need to love and be loved as Jesus taught and practiced. His words to his friends at his farewell meal echo today when he says the greatest love we can have is to sacrifice ourselves for others. That’s is today giving and not taking from a community, a family, a friendship. It means the well off are challenged to give back and share their wealth. It means bringing goodness to the needy and the vulnerable. Of course his message was challenging and many left him.
It was his fiery challenging message to the hypocritical corrupt authorities, the cheating traders and unjust judges of his day that aroused hatred, anger and fear among these rich elite. They ruled with gross indifference to the plight of the poor. Jesus called them stinking sepulchers, painted white outside but full of dead bones inside. That was strong language indeed.
His words are as true today as they were then. A similar social and economic situation prevails today in many developing countries. Particularly in the Catholic Philippines where the powerful 140 or so super rich families and their cronies in Congress and the military and police rule the 100 million people with a benign smile and a machine gun in gift wrapping.
They control the many by the tactics of the few. Immediate assassination, imprisonment and execution of the modern day prophets, the human right workers, media practitioners, the social activists, oppositionists, priests and pastors.
Just like the man from Nazareth they are risking all, their good reputation, their name, their family, even life itself. They are working and calling for true justice and respect for human rights and the ouster of the corrupt politicians and judges and prosecutors. They get charged with wrongful accusations, baseless allegations and legal cases to destroy their credibility and smother their cry for justice. They want the kingdom of Jesus to be real and present in order to end the human trafficking, jailing of children, sex tourism, and the disgusting coddling of criminals, child abusers and rapists.
So after the first exciting public arrival of the messenger of God to the city where he was a marked man and his every word and act was noted, they used these against him in false accusations, to trip him and block his mission and bring him down in disgrace. They shamefully succeeded only too well, but only for a while. His words and presence lived on, his life lit up the world and set it on fire with idealism for the kingdom and today it is still there for us. We only have to reach out and embrace that same mission and do our share to change the world and ourselves.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What’s good in being committed?

Are you a committed person?
Do you deliver what you promised?
I make commitments all the time. A commitment has to be met no matter what.
And I do have a confession to make. I, too, have made commitments that I regretted soon after committing.
But don’t get me wrong, I still delivered these commitments even if I felt regretful.
Why so?
Because this is what the numerous years of my professional practice taught me: what I feel doesn’t matter in comparison to the important responsibility my commitment holds.
There is something beautiful about being committed. (And I have met many committed people.) Committed people show characteristics that are worthy of emulation.
Committed people exhibit dedication. Their main concern is the fulfillment of their commitments. As a result, they do not make excuses. They value reputation. They know that credibility is more valuable than money.
Many of them have gone through the same challenges ordinary people have. Some of them have experienced frustration and a lot more negative feelings yet they remain happy simply because they are firm or committed on their promises.
If they say they will get the job done, then they will get the job done. This makes them credible, dependable and reliable. Committed people are assets and highly appreciated by their leaders.
A. W. Tozer said, “It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.”
Motives matter. There are people who find good reasons to do wrong things. They are compromising ethical standards.
Committed people do things because they are clear on their motives and aware of the significance their actions have. 
Money is surely not the main motivation for these people but that doesn’t mean that they do not appreciate this.
When you ask committed people why they do what they do, you will get responses like these:
• “Well, it is the right thing to do…”
• “I would like to make a difference…”
• “I enjoy doing it…”
• “I was brought up this way…”
• “If I don’t do it, then nobody would…”
• “It’s just so rewarding…”
You rarely hear them say:
• “I do it so I can earn points…”
• “I like the recognition…”
• “I do it for an advantage over others...”
• “I had no choice…”
These are the words of a person forced to do things.
They are clear on what they want. Also, they are clear as to where they are heading. Take this for example: a person wants proper finance and health management, a successful marriage and a good family with very productive children, and so the person tends to become committed on how to achieve all these.
Committed people do not make excuses. They make disciplined efforts to stay on the course knowing that in due time they will get their desired results.
People who are committed will not say, “It’s complicated…” because they are clear on what they want and they will stick to it.
Be a person of commitment and start changing your life for the better.
You can connect with Francis Kong through Facebook at or listen to his program called “Business Matters” from Monday to Friday at 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in 98.7 dzFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch’, the classical music station.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What is true success?

Parents want their kids to be successful. This is the reason why parents make sacrifices. They work hard, save money and send their kids to schools with astronomical tuition fees, hoping for the best.
You and I want to be successful. Just take a look at the number of books with the word “success” written on their covers. I consulted my reliable researcher named Google and in just 0.35 seconds, it gave me some 1,110,000,000 articles and references with the word “success”.
But before anything else, what is success?
Some people equate success with being happy and fulfilled. This makes them feel “successful”. Others acquired the dreams they dreamt in their younger years. This makes them feel “successful” as well. For others, success is an award of distinction, a title, a position of influence. Some people define success based on themselves, some let the society define success for them. 
Are there general principles that could accurately measure whether a person is truly successful or not?
Let’s take a look at money.
Motivational speaker and writer Zig Ziglar’s line on money is my favorite. He says, “Money isn’t everything... but it ranks right up there with oxygen.” All throughout the history of mankind, the pursuit of money is high on the list of those who want to be successful. And so success in this aspect may be objectively measured by the amount of money one has.
“The more money you have, the better you can be.” This is taught in the privacy of the home, and children are being trained to pursue it.
But the funny and amazing thing about this is that those who achieved this have written books, wrote articles and warned the rest of us that this never delivered the kind of “success” they longed for.
Accumulated money comes with a cost.
Please don’t get me wrong. Money is moral neutral. It is a tool. It is an instrument. The more you have, the more secure you feel.
Most people misquote the Scriptures when they say that “Money is the root of all evil.” This does not even make sense. If you look closely, the Bible teaches that it is the “love of money” that is the root of all evil. I am sure you know some people who are head over heels in love with it. On the funny side, Mark Twain said, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” And maybe he is right. The pursuit of money is not a bad thing. How you pursue it is the issue.
Now let’s take a look at power.
There are people I know who think power is the most important “success ingredient” to achieve because money comes hand in hand with it.
Again, money is moral neutral as you can use it for good or for personal gain. Power can come either in a political form or simple influence. It is fine as long as you use it for the good and it delivers happiness. This can already make you feel “successful”.
And then some people equate success with happiness and their concept of happiness is closely associated with pleasure. Happiness is so elusive. Happiness could not be pursued because it is simply a byproduct of living a godly life.
How about relationships?
We are not designed to live in isolation. We are constantly involved in relationships, whether superficial or intimate. Unhealthy relationships zap our energy as these relationships really make our emotions go haywire.
What about health? What about our relationship with God? A vibrant relationship with God is something that every happy person I know has.
Is this success? Which one is it? Just like the answer to a student’s favorite type of quiz, the answer is “all of the above.” Success should be holistic.
The thing with success is that you don’t really arrive at success. You wrestle with it, you spar with it. Sometimes, you get it. Many times, you don’t so you continue.
Rather than thinking about success, think about progress.
Personal growth should be intentional.
We continue to achieve growth in every area: finance, health, influence, accomplishments and relationships. Here is the key, be a channel of blessings to others, serve and help others succeed. This is when happiness comes and a sense of meaning permeates the entire being.
True success deals with all areas of your life and the life that goes beyond this one in this planet. The Scriptures say, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Nothing, DUH!
Read more: 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Listen to Him and be transfigured

[2nd Sunday of Lent – The Transfiguration, March 1, 2015.]
THE Transfiguration, recounted by St Mark in today’s Gospel, served to strengthen the weak hearts and drooping knees of Peter, James and John. They were led to a high mountain and before them Jesus was transfigured. His clothes became dazzling white and in the middle of this spectacular scene Moses and Elijah appear and begin conversing with Jesus. What about? Mark does not tell us but Luke is more revealing!
They “spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem” foretelling his suffering, death and glorious resurrection. The Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) all concur that Christ is the glory of the Father and in him is the fullness of the revelation, both the Old Testament and the New.
The placing of the Transfiguration in Mark’s gospel is immediately after the announcement of Jesus’ Passion and Death. The disciples could not understand the announcement of his suffering or even accept it. They were afraid. As Pope St Leo the Great declared, “The great reason for the transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.”
And how we long for the same experience of transfiguration, especially in the moments of suffering, in moments of darkness. We easily conclude that those disciples were really lucky to see what they saw and to hear what they heard. And what about us, poverini, the poor ones? But Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and so are his disciples! Like them we lose trust very easily, when the road gets bumpy, when it starts to become cloudy in our following.
The Father gives us the same advice as he gave the fearful disciples on the cloudy mountain-top, “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him.” Listen to him even if he is talking about his suffering and death. Trust him! Listen to him when you are lost, when in the darkness of temptation, when fearful of your weakness, when your vision is clouded and you have lost sight of the way. And lo and behold, listening to Jesus in his Word you are enlightened! Transfigured!
If we want to be transfigured we must listen. The key to the transfiguration is listening. Only the one who listens will be transformed from a caterpillar to a butterfly this Lent. Listening helps us grow in a trusting relationship in this God who loves us and who supports us.
I remember a meeting of our community before the World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005 when I was in charge of accommodating 200 people in tents. The weather was terrible, cold, windy and worse of all with torrential downpours. What encouraged me was the help of my dad with his 30 years experience in the military and also the faith of the overall organizer, a German sister in my community. Whenever I shared to her about the worsening situation she would always respond, “If God is for us who can be against us?” And sure enough all the guests survived the unforgettable camping experience!
How important it is to really trust in God. On the US dollar bill it states “In God we trust.” But do we really? Our experience is often like that of the disciples whose faith was shaken in the announcement of the Lord’s Passion. They could not understand and were afraid. It is as if God’s tender care for us is conditional and so when things are going well “He loves me.” But when suffering comes, when we don’t control everything, when we don’t understand and have to wait, we conclude “He loves me not.” But is God’s love for us really inconsistent? Or are we the ones who are just a little bit fickle at times?
Let us listen to the beloved Son this Lent, to trust him even when he talks of his Passion and death. With his disciples when they heard the voice of the Father they fell down afraid. Jesus touched them and said “Rise!” Jesus will not be slow to respond. His touch transfigures moments of fear and darkness. He will not let us down. With his grace we too can become agents of change, able to transfigure the world around us.
Let us journey this Lent with added confidence. Let us wait patiently for the transfiguration in moments of suffering. Surely this is the best training for the Easter experience where we shall share in the suffering and death of Jesus, by hoping and fixing our gaze on the eternal Transfiguration of his Resurrection. Amen.